Monday, March 21 by joegorun
Please join us tonight at the WW Twp Council’s work session to support bike lanes and safe crossings on Canal Pte Blvd, 7:30ish pm at the WW Municipal Center, after the regular business session. The proposed repaving and reconfiguration from the current 4 lanes to 3 plus bike lanes is far from a done deal – there is an active contingent who believe that roads are for cars and bikes do not belong on them. We need your help tonight, hope to see you there!
Tuesday, March 15 by joegorun
Please come celebrate WWBPA’s 10th anniversary on Thursday March 17, 7pm at the West Windsor Senior Center, 271 Clarksville Rd, West Windsor Township, NJ 08550. Raffle, cake, awards and hear the latest happening in West Windsor.
Friday, February 12 by joegorun
Applications for 2016-17 Student Advisors are available and due March 13, 2016.
Scholarship applications for High School Seniors are available and due April 15, 2016.
Wednesday, February 10 by joegorun
A big thank you to those who shovel the snow from the walks and bike parking at the Princeton Jct train station!
Friday, October 2 by JerryFoster
Let’s re-visit the great war between the executive branch (NJDOT) and the legislative (NJ Title 39) and judiciary (NJ Supreme Court Polzo v Essex County ruling) branches with regard to bicycling on the shoulder. Everybody does it, but is it legal?
NJDOT’s excellent 2011 Bicycling Manual recommends “riding on the right side of the road or on the shoulder.” NJDOT’s circa-1996 Introduction to Bicycle Facilities notes, “Advanced bicyclists are best served by bicycle compatible streets and highways which have been designed to accommodate shared use by bicycles and motor vehicles.” Paved shoulders are considered one form of bicycle compatible roadway.
So NJDOT encourages it, but does that make it legal? NJ Title 39:4-14.1 states: “Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.”
Wait a minute, isn’t a bicycle a vehicle? Not in NJ – human-powered devices are specifically excluded from the legal definition of vehicle in 39:1-1: “”Vehicle” means every device in, upon or by which a person or property is or may be transported upon a highway, excepting devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks or motorized bicycles.”
So what, it’s the same thing while riding in the shoulder, right? Not really, as the shoulder is specifically excluded from the “roadway” legal definition in 39:1-1: “”Roadway” means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder.” So a cyclist riding in the shoulder would not be granted all the rights and responsibilities as the driver of a vehicle.
Aren’t we nitpicking? Motorists can’t legally drive in the shoulder anyway – cyclists can’t very well have the same rights and responsibilities as the driver of a vehicle while riding in the shoulder, as it would also be illegal.
Exactly! If a cyclist has the same rights/responsibilities to follow the rules of the road, s/he should only ride in the travel lane, not in the shoulder.
NJDOT’s lawyers, presuming to encourage only legal cycling behavior, may well point to the sentence structure of 39:4-14.1. It implies that every person riding a bicycle *outside* the roadway (e.g. on the shoulder) would not have the same rights/responsibilities as the driver of a vehicle, but that doesn’t make it illegal, since it’s not explicitly prohibited, like it is for drivers of a vehicle in 39:4-82.
Under this interpretation, it’s a cyclist’s choice whether to ride in the roadway, and be legally bound to follow all the rules of the road, or live free on the shoulder. Just think, no rules, no responsibilities – bike against traffic, blow the wrong way through stop signs, it’s all legal if you’re a cyclist on the shoulder. Under this interpretation, cyclists have an implicitly legal option to ride on the shoulder that isn’t offered to drivers of vehicles.
So which is it? Illegal or legally available w no rights/responsibilities? According to the NJ Supreme Court in Polzo v Essex County, “Bicyclists do not have special privileges on a roadway’s shoulder. Indeed, a bicycle rider is directed to ride on the furthest right hand side of the roadway, not on the roadway’s shoulder. The Motor Vehicle Code does not designate the roadway’s shoulder as a bicycle lane.”
So, as far as the law with regard to cyclists is concerned, the NJ Supremes ruled that a cyclist “is directed” to the roadway, “not on the roadway’s shoulder.”
The Polzo ruling was in 2012 – why is NJDOT still encouraging cyclists to ride on the shoulder? Shouldn’t shoulders with sufficient space be designated as bike lanes? What ever happened to the Complete Streets policy?
4 Comments »
Friday, September 18 by JerryFoster
In our 5th annual survey, WWBPA volunteers counted 360 bicyclists and pedestrians at 5 locations around the train station on Wednesday September 16, 2015 between 5-8pm. Last year the count was 343, but the numbers are not directly comparable, since we counted at only 3 locations last year. Comparing the same locations at the same time slots, biking and walking decreased 5% over last year. At least we had beautiful fall weather again this year.
Once again we participated in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, an effort to accurately and consistently measure usage and demand for bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure.
Our 2015 findings:
- Cranbury/Wallace/571 (Rite Aid) – 25 bike, 112 walk
- Scott/Alexander (Arts Center) – 26 bike, 90 walk
- Vaughn/Alexander (bus stop) – 19 bike, 39 walk
- Station/571 (Rep. Holt Headquarters) – 5 bike, 6 walk
- Wallace/Alexander (WW lot) – 11 bike, 27 walk
Total: 360 people, 86 who bike, 274 who walk
Thanks to our volunteers!
Traffic along 571 in downtown West Windsor flowed freely throughout the observation time, except for 3 minutes at 5:30pm – this is consistent with last year, which congested for 4 minutes at 6:00pm. Honks were also consistent at 11 this and last year, while the number of semi trucks rose by 2 to 7 this year. One of the honks was to encourage a right turn on red from Wallace to 571, which both the honker and honkee proceeded to do, illegally – an additional sign at the corner would aid in getting the message out. I was honked at from behind a few weeks ago while waiting on my bike at Wallace, but just pointed up at the No Turn On Red sign overhead.
- midblock crossings of 571 at Rite Aid driveway – 10
- male – 261, female – 99
- walkers – 274, cyclists – 86
- walkers – 187 male, 87 female
- cyclists – 74 male, 10 female
Thursday, September 10 by joegorun
On Sept 12 the West Windsor Bike Fest 2015 will be held at Community Park. 7, 11, 20 and 40 mi ride options. Rain date Sunday, 9/13. See http://www.westwindsornj.org/recreation/ for more information.
Thursday, July 16 by joegorun
Bring your used bicycles Sept 19 to the WW Farmers Market. WWBPA will be collecting used bicycles to donate and support the Trenton Boys and Girls Club. Tax deductible donations.
Monday, May 18 by joegorun
The Ride of Silence is an international event, taking place every year around the globe at the same local time. This ride aims to raise awareness of cyclists on the road, as well as remember those who have been victims of bicycle/motor vehicle accidents. As per the global guidelines, we will depart from the WW Municipal Parking Lot at 7:00 p.m. for a silent 10 mile slow ride. Cruising speed will be 10-12 mph max. We will have a police escort. The event is free. Please bring a working bicycle. Helmets required. More info on the history and international event at www.rideofsilence.org. Rain or shine. Wednesday, May 20: Ride of Silence:.
Saturday, May 16 by joegorun
On Sunday, May 17, 2015, if you are an adult and have always wanted to learn how to ride your bike, this is your day.
Join the WWBPA for its annual Adult Learn to Bike Event. The event is for adults 18 or older who want help to learn how to ride a bicycle. Meet at the upper Vaughn Parking Lot (the newly created lot near the PJ train station) at 10:00 a.m-12pm. Pre-registration/RSVP via email is suggested; you must bring a bike in good working order and a helmet (or you can purchase a helmet if needed). Cost is $40 per family and free to current members of WWBPA as of June 1, 2014. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and watch our Facebook page and website (wwbpa.org) for late changes.